Leonardo boosts AW169’s gross weight to 5,100kg and adds 11-seater config


AW169 69005 AC4 during Demo Flight in Cotronei

Leonardo Helicopters has lifted the gross weight capability of its AW169 fitted with skid landing gear to 5,100kg. It is also offering an 11-seat version of the twin engine helicopter for the offshore oil and gas market.

The new options, delivered as kits, will meet the changing needs of both civil and military markets delivering higher weight category performance and capabilities with lower weight category costs, claimed the manufacturer.

The 5,100 kg (11,243 lb) kit for the AW169 skid version was originally developed to serve government and defence requirements for missions like troop transport and combat operations. But Leonardo also sees growing demand in the civil and public service markets. Compared with the standard Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of 4,800 kg (10582 lb), the extra 300kg (661lb) enables the embarkation of three more passengers or the addition of fuel for about one hour of operations. The 5,100 kg IGW kit is available for retrofitting.

The new 11-seater configuration, which is compliant with the IOGP Report 690 (Offshore Helicopter Recommended Practices), will introduce a new modular fuel tank system and two additional Type IV emergency exits in the cabin. This will lift the total number from four to six. “The 11 seats configuration will be available for the skid-fitted version in combination with the 5,100 kg IGW kit,” said Leonardo. “This solution will allow the type to satisfy even more demanding offshore transport requirements in terms of payload, range, and compliance with IOGP latest standards.” 

The new configuration will enable an operational radius of action of up to 75nm with 11 passengers. It will offer capabilities typically achievable with types with a MTOW exceeding 5.5t (intermediate class) at a light intermediate class cost of operations as well as granting latest safety standards compared with legacy helicopters, said the manufacturer.

The Certification of the IGW increase is expected in 2024, while the 11-seater configuration with new modular fuel tank is planned for certification in 2026.

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